Sunday, January 31, 2010
For one thing, a Sea Typhoon isn't a new idea from any stretch. In the past, there has been talk of the Royal Navy pulling out of the JSF programme in favour of a navalised Eurofighter. The navies of Italy and Spain have also sporadically put forward the idea of putting together a Sea Typhoon and hawking it in the global market. However, so far, no single point of interest has been incentive enough for EADS to proceed with anything even closely resembling a Sea Typhoon prototype. What they do have, however, is a fully finished concept study just waiting to fly off the drawing board. At least, that's what they say.
"A navalised Typhoon may soon be a reality. In fact, we have completed the groundwork for navalising the Typhoon since long and may pursue the respective entry into service based on ongoing campaigns," says Schmidlin. Eurofighter was mildly surprised to receive a request for information, alongside Boeing for its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed-Martin for the F-35 and Saab for the conceptual Sea Gripen.
Notwithstanding EADS' claim to have completed "all the groundwork" on the Sea Typhoon concept, navalising the Typhoon, like navalising any fighter jet not initially planned for deck-based operations, will be a onerous task to say the least. Even the fundamental airframe architecture of the Eurofighter seems to suggest that the platform would face serious issues over a range of areas, for instance the placement and configuration of its intakes, which may preclude the possibility of reinforced landing gear. That, in the event, would be only one of the questions that EADS claims it has solved with the Sea Typhoon concept, though it doesn't say how.
Doctrinally, it so happens, the concept of operating a heavy fighter (of the Su-33-class for instance) off aircraft carriers is something the Indian Navy has been toying with for long, though such ideas have been severely pushed about by the fact the very concept of an aircraft carrier force stands doctrinally questioned, albeit not in practice -- India still stands to receive the troubled Vikramaditya and at least two indigenously built aircraft carriers from the Cochin shipyard.
Photo by Shiv Aroor / Newly built Eurofighter just after radar testing at the System Testing Center, Manching
Saturday, January 30, 2010
A team comprising India's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) are booked to arrive in Munich early March for what will be their most crucial visit. In what is giving the people at Eurojet, particularly Managing Director Hartmut Tenter great hopes for their product, is the knowledge that the Indian visitors want to discuss certification of the EJ200 for the Tejas. The team has asked to visit test-beds, manufacturing facilities and development centers during their stay.
Discussions between the Indian government and Eurojet are currently at the Q&A phase -- a period post-RFP, where the buyer smoothens out details and calls upon the vendor to explain, clarify or expand anything put forth in their technical bid. A few days ago, Eurojet received a set of 32 such questions from the ADA (Tenter says he is surprised there weren't more), out of which 26 are associated with engineering aspects, while the remaining six pertain to transfer of technology issues. Eurojet faces formidable competition to power the LCA from the American General Electric F-414-400.
OK, now here's the juice. According to Tenter and his team, for the Tejas to be able to take in an EJ200 engine, the engine will need "minor" modifications. These include some changing to the mounting assembly, a different hydraulic pump and an additional generator pack for starters. In addition, engine interfaces might need changes depending on how the LCA is configured. All in all, Eurojet believes its tailor-made EJ200 for the LCA can be ready -- certification tests and all -- in two years flat. Officials at the company point out that one of the biggest downers for their competition is that the F-414-400's intake interface assembly is markedly larger than the F-404 (and, thus, the LCA) and its selection would therefore imply some very serious modifications to the LCA's centre fuselage and intake architecture (in addition to the use of a cone director for airflow). Eurojet insists that the EJ200's installation will require absolutely no airframe and intake changes to the LCA. Both contentions remain unconfirmed at this point.
Even though the LCA new-engine competition and the MMRCA competition are linked for Eurojet (the Eurofighter Typhoon is powered by the EJ200), the company has chosen to keep both campaigns strictly separate.
"When we demonstrated the engine's performance to a team from HAL and DRDO in November last year, they were amazed that there was no thrust droop in the EJ200. The engine is designed to compensate for thrust droop," says Tenter, confident that this and a rapid-fire list of other ostensible unique selling points make the Eurojet a frontrunner in the race.
Tomorrow: Part 2: The Typhoon For The Indian Navy
Photo by Shiv Aroor / Laage AFB, Germany
Friday, January 29, 2010
Photo by Shiv Aroor / Rostock-Laage Airfield, Germany
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The President has awarded Ashok Chakra (Posthumous) to Havildar Rajesh Kumar of 11 Rajputana Rifles. On 01 August 2009, a section of Ghatak team searching the dense forest in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir was subject to intense and indiscriminate firing by terrorists. Havildar Rajesh Kumar, who was leading the section, returned fire and scrambled into the undergrowth to outflank the terrorist. With dogged determination he closed-in around the flank and killed the terrorist. While continuing the search, the team was again engaged by two terrorists positioned upslope. Realizing the danger to the lives of his teammates, Havildar Rajesh Kumar moved to outflank one of the terrorists through a veritable hail of bullets. While closing-in, he sustained gun-shot wounds in the abdomen. Disregarding his grievous wounds, he shot and killed the second terrorist. Bleeding profusely, he moved to outflank the third terrorist from his blind side and engaged him in fierce hand to hand combat killing the terrorist with a burst of fire, before succumbing to his injuries. Havildar Rajesh Kumar showed unparalleled feat of most conspicuous gallantry, fortitude and the rare spirit of self-sacrifice in fighting the terrorists.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The LCA Tejas tableau that debuts on January 26. This mock-up shows the aircraft carrying Astra and R-73 missiles. Remember, 2010 is the year for initial op clearance for the aircraft. Wondering why they didn't just have one of the PVs flying in the flypast.
Photo Courtesy DPR Photo Division
The Indian Army has also put out a crucial RFI for the successor to its L-70 and ZU-23MM-2B guns, but more on that later.
Photo by Shiv Aroor / Rangiya (Assam)
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Photo Courtesy DPR/Indian Navy
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Posted from Mobile/Photos by Shiv Aroor
Posted from Mobile/Photos by Shiv Aroor
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The first Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules produced for Canada leaves the company's paint facility in Marietta, Georgia. The first three Indian C-130Js are already in various stages of production.
Photo Courtesy Lockheed-Martin